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Jurisdiction of tribunal to award costs

13 May 2019
Issue: 4695 / Categories: Tax cases
F Humphries (TC6972)

In June 2018 after a dispute the taxpayer and HMRC agreed that it would make a refund of National Insurance to her. However the cheque arrived after three months during which time the taxpayer incurred costs chasing it. She applied to the First-tier Tribunal for ‘wasted costs’.

The First-tier Tribunal said its rules allowed it to make an order for costs under Tribunal Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 s 29(4). However it had a ‘very specific meaning’ and was limited to orders against the representative of the litigant because of the representative’s own behaviour. This was not the case here.

The tribunal said it seemed that the taxpayer had not appreciated the distinction between this and ‘wasted’ in a colloquial sense. The judge therefore proceeded under rule 10(1)(b) on the basis the taxpayer alleged HMRC had acted unreasonably.

However the tribunal could only award costs ‘of and incidental’...

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